An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together. Ecosystems have no particular size. An ecosystem can be as large as a desert or a lake or as small as a tree or a puddle. If you have a terrarium, that is an artificial ecosystem.
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. So did the killing of Blaze the grizzly bear in Yellowstone Park after the mother and her cubs were surprised by an off-trail hiker, who Blaze instinctively attacked and then ate.
Prompting far less attention, but way more important to the evolving issue of how humans should treat non-humans, was the publication of Beyond Words, What Animals Think and Feel, by Carl Safinaa thoughtful, moving, and important book about animal cognition and emotion.
Safina writes with respect, affection, admiration, even awe about the remarkable cognitive abilities of many animals, and argues that we should treat non-human creatures with more respect.
But he is a scientist, and he bases his case not on emotion alone but on the firm and ever-mounting body of evidence that non-human beings, with whom we have far more in common biologically and behaviorally than what separates us, are significantly more sentient, intelligent, and rational than we give them credit for.
Safina focuses on elephants, wolves, dolphins and killer whales, but his examples range from apes to fish to birds to insects. The stories Safina tells are remarkable.
They provide powerful evidence of animal intelligence, learning, and self-awareness defined not by whether the animal can recognize itself in a mirror -- Safina ridicules this as too narrow a measure of self-awareness -- but whether the animal is aware of itself as a unique being separate from others.
There is stunning and ample evidence -- at least among the social animals -- of what only can be described in human emotional terms; the family warmth and affection among elephants, the mourning of killer whales at the loss of a child descriptions of the wailing and frenzy of parent killer whales when their juveniles are abducted for display in marine amusement parks are heartbreakingor the excitement and happiness dolphins demonstrate when re-uniting with human researchers they see only occasionally.
In case after case non-human animals consistently demonstrate the ability to intelligently figure things out, to make the right choices, to actively interpret all sorts of cues - sounds, smells, gestures -- in order to find food, identify mates, ensure safety, and interact successfully with their environments.
All sorts of animals have social skills.
Many demonstrate what can only be described as emotions. Safina argues that we have to stop thinking about animals by asking "What are you? He writes; There is in nature an overriding sanity and often, in humankind, an undermining insanity.
We among all animals are most frequently irrational, distortional, delusional, worried. We are the only species known to deny overwhelming evidence -- about vaccines, about climate change, about the dangers of smoking -- in ways that actually put us in greater danger.
The emotional nature of human risk perception can sometimes produce a literally self-destructive irrationality. With our unique ability to foresee the future, we are the only species known to invent phantom beliefs, complete with detailed rules of behavior and morality, to give ourselves the illusion of control over our uncertain fates.
As Safina observes; Other animals are great and consummate realists.
Only humans cling unshakably to dogmas and ideologies that enjoy complete freedom from evidence, despite all the evidence to the contrary. And as Safina notes, it is patently irrational for humans to deny the voluminous evidence that animals think and feel.
Is that just anthropomorphic arrogance? Or is it necessary to absolve ourselves for the callousness and outright cruelty with which we treat non-humans? Safina asks Why do human egos seem so threatened by the thought that other animals think and feel.
Is it because acknowledging the mind of another makes it harder to abuse them? Or, as Safina quotes Charles Darwin: These popular works are bringing into focus, and wider awareness, what research has discovered in the past years; that non-human animals are more sentient, intelligent, and rational than we have assumed, and that humans are far less rational than we have pretended.
Now if only we can use this knowledge, about human and non-human intelligence, more intelligently.Ultimately, imprinted birds find themselves in a “gray area” – they cannot appropriately interact with either humans or their own species. Birds who are human-imprinted are deemed unsuitable for release back into the wild due to these inappropriate interactions.
Invasive species are most commonly defined as a non-native plant, animal or other organism that dominates the encountered ecosystem and impairs its function and structure.
Invasive species displace or damage native fauna and flora, often posing serious threats to local biodiversity and causing adverse environmental, economic or public health.
Feral Cats: Impacts of an Invasive Species The domestic cat (Felis catus) is the most prevalent pet in the U.S., numbering between and million individuals.1 Originally bred from wild cats (Felis silvestris) in the Near East approximately 10, years ago,2 domestic cats are now con- sidered a distinct species.
The following is a discussion of the two sides of human nature: first, the biological basis of our responses to the world around us, and second, the social factors that affect those responses and make us human. The behavior and mental processes of animals, both human and non-human, can be described through animal cognition, ethology, evolutionary psychology, and comparative psychology as well.
Human ecology is an academic discipline that investigates how humans and human societies interact with both their natural environment and the human social. The behavior and mental processes, both human and non-human, can be described through animal cognition, ethology, evolutionary psychology, and comparative psychology as well.
Human ecology is an academic discipline that investigates how humans and human societies interact with both their natural environment and the human social .